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Obscene e-mails and a complaint

cuke2u
Grafter
Posts: 88
Registered: 15-11-2007

Obscene e-mails and a complaint

Hi, once again this morning my e-mail box had more spam e-mails and many of these were obscene. As a IT Technician I am very careful who I give my e-mail address out to, and I have a 'spoof' hotmail account to those who require a mailing address but those I do not wish a reply from. I have all my security turned on the mail settings within plusnet and I run Outllook 2007, which correctly picks them up as junk mail.
I find this situation intolerable that plusnet cannot  run a spam checker that picks these up and it seems to me that despite some efforts from plusnet instead of it improving it is in fact getting worse.
The sad thing is that many of the people who I work for, in my job, and with private work, come to me for advice on which service provider I would recommend for broadband. In the past this has been plusnet, but now I find those individuals who took up my recommendation are complaining that they are getting these e-mails too. Some of them have children and now these children are also receiving obscene e-mails, thus their parents are forced to to run more protection at a cost to them.
Now of course I no longer recommend plusnet, I, as a professional, have a duty of responsibilty to protect the people I work with from this intolerable situation.
I hope plusnet do sort this situation out, god knows they have had long enough. But it seems to me they have made so many unfulfilled promises that I have no confidence in their ablilty to do so. I can't think why plusnet cannot resolve this, we run a broadband service for our school and obscene e-mails has never ever been an issue.
Please do something plusnet, stop making statements of intent and resolve the problem once and for all.
Many thanks
Chris
26 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

To be fair, PlusNet are trying - although they're far from in the clear over the matter. What basically happened, if you're unaware, is back in (I think) May, PlusNet's webmail system was hacked in to and spammers stole everyone's e-mail addresses. This is why you're seeing spam e-mails to e-mail addresses you've never given out. Whereas before PN's anti-spam system was working fairly well, it could no longer cope with the huge deluge of spam that people suddenly found themselves contending with. As a result, since then PlusNet have been trying various ways to improve the mail/spam platform - they've added new capabilities to Manage My Mail, allowed spam to be immediately deleted by the server, trialled different anti-spam systems, and probably various other things. So you can't say they've not been pro-active in trying to solve the problem. However, it does seem that as soon as PN find one way of blocking a lot of spam, the spammers find a way of not getting that spam blocked. So, in a nutshell, by being hacked in to (which I do hold PN at least partially responsible for) they've subjected themselves - and their customers - to a cat-and-mouse game which I don't think will ever really end.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

Well that just about sums it up for me
Quote from: cuke2u
But it seems to me they have made so many unfulfilled promises that I have no confidence in their ablilty to do so. I


here's one, what happened to the option to change your spammed username to a new one.....waiting!
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

Hi there,
There is a lot of work ongoing to improve our Spam detection service, and to do as much as we can to reduce the amount of Spam our customers receive.
To that end, we're currently working with Critical Path as detailed here, and with Postini, as detailed here.
Santiago,
The username change was available from June, as announced here, until July 17th, as announced here.
If this is the best way to deal with the spam issue we can still do this in individual cases, on a case-by-case basis.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,533
Thanks: 774
Fixes: 9
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

Two months ago I created a new mailbox I use for communicating with a particular client. So far it has received ZERO spam. As Thomas indicated an email list was stolen and that accounts for a lot of the spam we now see. There's no reason to think that a new PN user with a brand new email address would see anything like the volume of spam we see unless they were careless with posting their email address in public places.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

Quote from: Mand
The username change was available from June, as announced here, until July 17th, as announced here.

Well I didn't see that information, must have missed the Plusnet blogs on those particular days. Was that before Force 9 customers were given access to the Plusnet community? I think you may tell me the same information was posted over at Force 9 too. Must have missed that too.
The process to change the username was not very customer friendly. Was it designed that way to discourage people from doing it?
jmd
Grafter
Posts: 2,933
Thanks: 2
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

I am a force 9 customer and I giot the information June/July ?[ages ago anyway] ago about changing username/getting domain and I did so without any problem - so far received hardly any spam to date.
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

We publicised it fairly heavily when available, along with the free domain.
As advised earlier, if you do still require the change we should be able to arrange this for you if necessary.
There was no intention here to discourage anyone from taking any of the changes, and they were heavily discussed here for some time before and after, as well as in the old portal forums.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

Hi jmd
I was aware of the username and free domain from the Force 9 forum. At that time I decided not to take up the free domain name but had in mind to change my username. Anyway I missed out on that so I created some additional mailboxes which are spam free. (This was the second time I had to do this as there was also a security issue in 2006 that caused a lot of spam emails to previously secure addresses).
I think I will blackhole the old address when the new ones are fully established.
Quote from: Mand
As advised earlier, if you do still require the change we should be able to arrange this for you if necessary.

Thanks Mand but I will persevere with my new mailboxes
Quote from: PJ
And by e-mail IIRC.

Not to me
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

Quote from: jelv
Two months ago I created a new mailbox I use for communicating with a particular client. So far it has received ZERO spam. As Thomas indicated an email list was stolen and that accounts for a lot of the spam we now see. There's no reason to think that a new PN user with a brand new email address would see anything like the volume of spam we see unless they were careless with posting their email address in public places.

Have to say that, as a new customer (18th July 07) I've seen less than 5 spam emails - this would seem to confirm your thoughts.
jazz
Grafter
Posts: 240
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

I had enormous trouble after the hack of email addresses in May but all my spam was addressed to "username@username.plus.com".  I appreciate that many people have got loads of different addresses being spammed but as my spam was focussed on only address (which was not one I ever used - it was only used by PlusNet) I created a new address "somethingelse@username.plus.com" and labelled this as my default address.  I blackholed "username@username".  I then switched plusnet spam filters off. I have not received any spam email since I did this in early August. (which is as quiet as my email address had been for the previous ten years to May 2007.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,124
Thanks: 4
Registered: 14-08-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

In fact plusnet have some of the best facilities for avoiding spam anywher.
I have just moved my email from freeserve, where, after about 10 years, I was getting hundreds of spam messages EVERY DAY. I had most of them filtered, but was still having to look at 10 to 20 a day. Most of these were coming into random addresses (randomtext@username.....)
With plusnet it is possible to avoid these altogether by using the blackhole facility.
Black hole everything except specific addresses. Set up one of these specific addresses (aliases) for every website where you put in an address.
Never enter your "user" email address into anything, and ask you friends not to do it for you (eg ecard sites)
Then if an address starts getting spam (none have for me yet), blackhole it (remove the alias) - end of spam, and no filtering required.
This strategy also tells you who is selling email addresses. Because you have a dedicated address for each website, (eg dodgysite@username.plus.com) if that address starts getting spam, you know "dodgysite" has released it in some way.
Richard_261
Grafter
Posts: 76
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint


Ah! This thread would explain why I get spam emails to my username@force9.co.uk address which I have never used or given out.
I never saw anything or was informed about the hacking incident or the chance to change my username. (maybe the email went to the spam folder)
If I could also change my username, it would cut my spam by two thirds.
How do I go about this please?
N/A

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

There is no need to change username to reduce/eliminate  spam. Here is what I did:
Rename the default mailbox (if it used to be username@username then change it to something different@username). You used to be able to do this yourself on the portal but last time I did this for a friend, they had taken it off so I had to ring in to CS and they did it for me.  Turn off catchall and then the only e-mails that you should get will be the ones specifically addressed to the new default mailbox name.
Next, everytime you sign up for anything, create an alias on the portal first, e.g. amazon@username.f9.co.uk, ebay@username.f9.co.uk.
If spam then starts to come from a specific address, just delete the alias.
When I took up the domain name option I had some spam from the beginning because it had been used before. I managed to get rid of it by the blackholing the addresses.
Richard_261
Grafter
Posts: 76
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Obscene e-mails and a complaint

Quote from: PJ
Create a free PAYG account and raise a ticket requesting that your account is transferred to the new username.

Sounds simple enough.

Quote from: poppy
There is no need to change username to reduce/eliminate  spam. Here is what I did:
Rename the default mailbox (if it used to be username@username then change it to something different@username). You used to be able to do this yourself on the portal but last time I did this for a friend, they had taken it off so I had to ring in to CS and they did it for me.  Turn off catchall and then the only e-mails that you should get will be the ones specifically addressed to the new default mailbox name.
Next, everytime you sign up for anything, create an alias on the portal first, e.g. amazon@username.f9.co.uk, ebay@username.f9.co.uk.
If spam then starts to come from a specific address, just delete the alias.
When I took up the domain name option I had some spam from the beginning because it had been used before. I managed to get rid of it by the blackholing the addresses.

Sounds complicated